The leading Crowdfunding consultancy

The Current State of Crowdfunding in Europe

We contributed to the freely available Current State of Crowdfunding in Europe Report. It coincides with a call for better standards of data sharing and an agreed taxonomy. We agree!

Cover Current State Crowdfunding EuropeThe report, which is free to download, was created by the CrowdfundingHub in Amsterdam and incorporated contributions from  some 30 collaborators of which twintangibles was proud and honoured to be one. Setting out a comprehensive overview of the state of crowdfunding in a range of different countries it is an impressive and valuable source of information and a testament to the growing importance of crowdfunding and alternative finance across a great deal of Europe and the wider world.

The report makes a number of overarching observations including the importance of a positive regulatory stance in the growth of crowdfunding and presents a  general upbeat and optimistic view of the possibilities of crowdfunding.

Another key observation is that of the need to create more a more defined  taxonomy for the sector and better standards of data sharing/reporting. I would wholeheartedly agree with both of these items. This has ever greater relevance as increasing numbers of old world finance operators ride on the coattails of crowdfunding to popularise new product offerings which have neither the  awareness nor the benefits of crowd finance. This is a problem as it distorts people’s understanding of the sector and, more importantly perhaps, deprives the users of the specific and distinctive benefits that crowdfunding brings. At the same time many platforms  exaggerate and distort their performance to position themselves more positively in an ever increasingly competitive marketplace and, in so doing, make the reporting of activity levels unclear and less than useful.  It is essential for consumers, researchers, administrators, regulators and indeed all participants in the market place,  to get access to a more coherent and comparable set of data based around shared standards in the interests of transparency, choice, measurement and practicality. Some kind of Dublin Core for data exchange and a manifesto for the crowd defining what is required for inclusion in the pantheon of crowdfunding, and the wider alternative finance sectors is a call we would echo and support.

What we would say in addition is that it cannot be left to vested interests or partisan actors to do this work as in such an immature market it would be unlikely to succeed! It might be that regulators might have a role to play in bringing this about but as few if any have any grasp of the subject matter they can’t operate alone and they must avoid being captured by lobby groups masquerading as sector representatives.

The CrowdAsset Framework in the EC Open Innovation Handbook

Open Innovtion Hanbook Cover

Open Innovation Handbook Cover

The European Commission is very supportive of the idea of Open Innovation. They promote it, research it , and endeavour to utilise it with projects like FI WARE and similar initiatives, and they also bring together examples of creative and inspiring cases and thinking.

They do this curation role via web materials, events and conferences and publications. One of those publications is the European Commission Open Innovation Handbook 2014 which is, as the name suggests, an annual publication bring together a series of chapters identifying examples, research and thinking around the theme of Open Innovation.

The 2014 edition has recently been released, it’s free and is available for download from here. Earlier this year Dan Marom and I were asked to submit a chapter for inclusion in the book and it is a tremendous honour and privilege to find our work alongside so many other leading and distinguished thinkers and practitioners.

In our chapter we introduce what we refer to as the CrowdAsset Framework which is an analytical sensemaking and decision support tool for use when contemplating how the crowd might be able to resolve problems and create value for your organisation. The evidence of how “opening out” is a sound approach because it is both viable and invaluable grows ever stronger. Commercial models of reaching out to the crowd through crowd sourcing and crowd funding are increasingly familiar with big names like Proctor and Gamble and GE embracing this model for real benefit.

The concept of the Quadruple Helix of effective open innovation particularly on the civic realm is creating new and novel solutions to embedded and what were once intractable social issues. But for it to embed itself further better frameworks, to make the apparently complex and difficult process much re readily understandable, are required.

The crowdasset framework is one of our contributions to that development and we both recommend it to you and welcome your comments on it. We will blog about the framework increasingly but for the time being why not download and read the book.

Social Media Week Glasgow – The Report

Social Media Week Glasgow – The Report

As many of you know the first Social Media Week 2012 has just taken place with London as the UK host city and as part of that we attended and delivered an event on Thursday evening called Socially Scotland, alongside Inner Ear and KILTR. The event was in part sponsored by McClure Naismith and made all the sweeter thanks to the generosity of Tunnocks, WEST Beer and the Ayr Brewing company. Our sincere thanks to you all.

Our part in the evening was to give an overview of the scope and impact of Social Media Week 2011 in Glasgow.

The curation of an event like Social Media Week is a significant undertaking. Even though it is a crowdsourced event, and most of the events are created by participants, there is still a great deal of time, effort and worry involved in making it happen.

When we started the process of pulling together the Glasgow end of that with our colleagues at New Media Corp pretty much no-one we spoke to had heard of it despite it already being a colossal global presence. This meant that when we were speaking to potential sponsors and partners we had to do a lot of explaining. What was particularly challenging was to explain that we had little idea who would take part, the number of events, the nature of event hosts, because of the crowdsourced format. Most similar events are highly targeted and base their offer on a highly defined set of characteristics. Social Media Week is not like that and what has gone before may well not reflect the nature of the next iteration. So for those that did get on board, it was a leap of faith and we salute their courage and vision. None regrets it. Some that didn’t probably do.

That said, we felt it was well worth trying to understand a bit more about what happened last September. Who came, what they covered, and capture for posterity some record of a week that for us will remain long in the memory and stand as an endorsement of something we are very proud of, as should all those people that made it happen.

To do that we collated a good deal of quantitative data, ran a review evening for some more qualitative feedback, and completed the delivery of some legacy projects for Creative Scotland that formed part of their investment in the week’s success.

We have drawn that material together into the form of a report that we now share with you, because it was your week as Alan Bisset put it in the promotional video.

We hope you enjoy the report, find it interesting, share it, comment on it and look back as fondly as we do to “That Week” in September 2011.

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